Raising a child with special needs

No one can really understand the struggles, frustrations and concerns that come along with raising a child with special needs–other than the parent of child with special needs. You are constantly trying to make sure that you protect them from all the horrors and ugliness of the world. But, at the same time you are trying to balance, giving them a “normal life” as possible and not treat them as being different.

You find that no matter what you do, there is always going to be someone who is insensitive and will make comments to your child or about your child that is hurtful. How can you effectively shield your child from the hurts that you know are out there? Well, a wise woman once told me “it’s not your job to shield your child from all of life’s hurt, but to minimize them as much as possible and be there for them to offer guidance when they do experience pain.”

You never actually understand the true ugliness and mean spirit of “man,” until you become a parent with a special needs child. It is astounding the way some people teach their children to hate, be mean, and inflict emotional pain and or physical pain on others.

All I can do is love my child with a love so fierce that when he/she goes out into the world, they will never doubt who they are– can turn a blind eye, and a deaf ear to the cruelness out there in the world.

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Words Can Hurt

   “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” This childhood saying can’t be further from the truth. I can remember saying those words often enough and actually believing that it made what the other person said irrelevant. How wrong I was. The body can heal from the physical damage that a rock or stone may inflict. However, the emotional scars that the soul is subjected to can last a life time. Hurtful words are like a little sharp knife slowly making little cuts on different parts of your body. At first you may not feel the sting of the cut. But, after a while all the little cuts start to add up and then real pain will be felt.

   We need to be mindful of what we say. I can remember a saying my mother had “if you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say anything at all.” If only many of us took that saying to heart. All too often people allow hurtful, emotional damaging and harsh words spew from their mouths in anger. Take a deep breath, lower your elevation (e.g., sit down) walk away from the situation in order to calm down before you make a statement that you can never take back.

   It is true what they say “think before you speak.” If we all learned how to do that we would not have to resort to singing our childhood saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me, just to cover up our emotional pain. Words can hurt. Words do hurt. Stop hurting people with your words.

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What if I chose a different path in life?

Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you had chosen a different path? If you had made different choices in your life? Well, I have pondered those same questions. I think to myself…what if I had chosen to have children later in life, what if I had taken that other job instead, what if I had decided on a different college major. Life can be filled with a lot of what ifs and can hinder some of us from truly moving forward in life. Yes, my life would probably be different had I chosen a different path or made alternative choices. However, I would not be the person I am today had I not made the decisions I made yesterday. The good, the bad and the ugly. I am stronger for all of the trials, tests, and tribulations that I have faced. I am a better person for the joys, thrills and simple events that I have experienced.

Don’t stay locked in the past full of what ifs. Life is too short and full of new possibilities and experiences just waiting for you to take part in. So when I sometimes feel my mind slipping back to the what ifs. I just bring to remembrance how grateful and truly blessed I am, to be the person I am, in this particular time of my life.

So I say to you, STAY IN THE NOW, for you can not change yesterday, nor predict the future. But, today you can learn to enjoy and appreciate the ride you are on

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